Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while thoroughly tickled that Nick Cotsonika is among my hockey-writing brethren again after being hired as a features writer for NHL.com. Congrats, Nick!
*Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper says that the woes for the Tampa Bay Lightning start with him at the top. But the bigger problem right now is that Steven Stamkos is lost for 1-3 months after surgery for a blood clot in his arm. Adam McQuaid had the same problem, and the same surgery, during the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season and one month for a recovery is unrealistic. Stamkos will likely be on blood thinners for at least six weeks, and can’t play during that time period. McQuaid couldn’t skate at all for a couple of months afterward, and was significantly weakened for the entire rest of that season after he did return. I don’t think there’s any way Stamkos makes it back for these playoffs with the Lightning, and may have already played his last game in Tampa.
*Pavel Datsyuk could be headed back to Russia after this season, according to a report from Elliotte Friedman. The Datsyuk departure could leave the Red Wings with a massive cap hit, but would open the door for Detroit to finally make some much-needed changes.
*Are the Blues for real? Some discussion about whether they can finally have a breakthrough in the playoffs this season.
*Some news, notes and analysis from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chuck Gormley on the Washington Capitals as they round the final bend of the season.
*A controversial Masterton nominee in Buffalo has raised plenty of criticism, and has Ryan O’Reilly at the center of a discussion he probably never imagined he’d be thrown into.
*Max Domi dropped the gloves with Nate Schmidt, and did his old, tough man Tie proud on Saturday night.